Most helpful positive review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Recommended when you wonder why work no longer ... works
on 25 October 2010
This is most definitely a self-help book with a difference. As the authors point out, all too often, self-help type books focus on life outside of the workplace. Yet, when one considers how much of our adult lives we spend in a work situation, whether paid or unpaid, it is equally important to find happiness at work.
I have always found books which promise 'the answer' to be a bit frustrating. Coming from a science background, I like theories which are backed up by evidence, and well-referenced. So, score for this book. Then, there is the way this book is laid out. Why do we work? What drives us to work? Is it for the structure or because it provides us with an identity or a feeling of self-worth.
The book is peppered with questionnaires, which are available as printable copies online, designed to help you identify what really matters to you in your work situation. Then, having identified those things that matter to you, the authors explore 'happiness' and 'unhappiness' in more generalised terms, which helps to put things into context, and demonstrate that you are not alone with regard to the things that you feel make your job worthwhile. The concept of the 'Nine Needed Features' was particularly useful to me, and I could not help wondering why none of the companies for whom I have worked have incorporated such things into an appraisal or review system. Other factors which are considered include personality types, the concept of vitamins (only works up to a certain level) or toxic (too much can be detrimental) aspects of work
However, what really stands out about this book is that it does not assume that work is paid employment. It considers also those who have been made redundant, are retired, or who carry out unpaid work. The authors point out that in terms of solutions, one size does not fit all, so having worked through the questionnaires and analysis, there are suggestions on how to put things in motion to improve your joy in work. The improvements are suggested both in terms of positive and negative, again something which I think is sometimes missing. After all, wanting more responsibility and gaining it may mean that someone else loses that responsibility. How would that work for their 'joy of work'?
I have read previous titles authored by Guy Clapperton, and have found his style enjoyable. His collaboration with Peter Warr is well worth reading and not just when you are facing change. I think that this book should be used for people wanting to gain the most from their work, whether their job is secure or not. If even a few of their suggestions work out, there is strong likelihood of making a difference in your days.